New Discoveries Near Scotland’s Loch Ness


In 2008 a conservation charity called Trees for Life bought a ten thousand acre estate (Dundreggan) in Inverness-shire, Scotland,  near the famous lake, Loch Ness.  Their main goal at the time was to re-establish the ancient Caledonian forests to at least 1,000 acres of that highland area.

Since then a few surprises have turned up – animals previously unknown to science!  Biologists surveying the area found eight new species in 2012 alone. The new discoveries include:

  • Sawfly
  • Aphid
  • 2 Types of Aphid parasites
  • 3 Fungus Gnats
  • Mite

Granted, they aren’t  the most exciting of animals, but it reinforces the fact that science still doesn’t have a full understanding of all the creatures inhabiting this planet.  In addition, the biologists also found a rare Lapland marsh orchid which was previously thought to not grow in Scotland.

DundregganWildCatPrevious discoveries at the Dundreggan estate include new stands of juniper, pine martens, black grouse, and water voles. There is some evidence pointing to the presence of a Scottish wildcat as well (see photo above).

Alan Watson Featherstone, who is the executive director for Trees for Life, said, “The surprisingly rich variety of life at Dundreggan highlights the vital importance of conservation work, and of protecting and enhancing habitats across the Highlands.  The discoveries are not only demonstrating that the estate is a special site for biological diversity – they are also revealing that there is still much to learn about Scotland’s biodiversity.”

DundregganmapSo in addition to the Scottish highlands, we have new species being found every year in the world’s oceans, we have new species turning up every year in the rainforests around the world, and we even had a new species of toad found right in New York City of all places.

It’s all very exciting and I’m sure one of these days, we’ll be adding some of these cryptids that we love to hunt/study/research to the list of “newly” found!

Til the next time!

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